Kosharovsky Arrives in Israel After 18-year Wait for Freedom

Yuli Kosharovsky, the most veteran of Soviet refuseniks, arrived in Israel Saturday night with his wife and three children.

He flew here 18 years after Soviet authorities first refused him permission to emigrate, on the grounds that he possessed state secrets.

Kosharovsky’s arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport received an exceptional greeting from Premier Yitzhak Shamir and Immigration and Absorption Minister Yitzhak Peretz, who waited to meet him personally.

The Kosharovskys drove straight from the airport to the new home that been prepared for them in the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut.

In Baltimore, Shoshana Cardin, chairwoman of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, said, “We are gratified that Yuli Kosharovsky has finally realized his dream of arriving in Israel. We hope that all ‘secrecy’ refuseniks and all other Jews who seek to leave the Soviet Union will be granted their permission in the near future.”

The National Conference estimates that nearly 2,000 Soviet refuseniks are still awaiting permission to emigrate.

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